The Occult: A History, by Colin Wilson (Random House, 1971, 601 pp., $10), The Occult Explosion, by Nat Freedland (Putnam’s, 1972, 270 pp., $6.95), Probing the Unexplained, by Allan Spraggett (World, 1971, 256 pp., $6.95), What Witches Do, by Stewart Farrar (Coward, McCann and Geoghegan, 1971, 211 pp., $5.95), The Weird World of the Occult, by Walker Knight (Tyndale, 1972, 128 pp., $1.25 pb), Demons, Demons Demons, by John Newport (Broadman, 1972, 159 pp., $4.95), Christian Counseling and Occultism (fifteenth edition), by Kurt Koch (Kregel, 1972, 297 pp., $4.95 pb), Occult Bondage and Deliverance, by Kurt Koch (Kregel, reprint 1970, 198 pp., $1.25 pb), Mind, Man and Spirits, by J. Stafford Wright (Zondervan, reprint 1971, 190 pp., $.95 pb), Christianity and the Occult, by J. Stafford Wright (Moody, 1972, 160 pp., $.75 pb), and Psychic Phenomena and Religion, by H. Richard Neff (Westminster, 1971, 176 pp., $3.50), are reviewed by J. Gordon Melton, director, Institute for the Study of American Religion, Evanston, Illinois.
America is in the midst of an occult-psychic-charismatic explosion, and this explosion of paranormal phenomena indisputably has some significance for Christian faith. Just what that significance is, is the subject of a wide range of books. Is the psychical an alternative to Christianity, a part of its essential nature, or just some natural event like the mixing of sodium and chlorine to make table salt?
The wide range of aspects of the psychic and the wide range of views on it create much confusion for the casual reader just trying to locate solid and clear information. By its very nature—mysterious, unknown—the psychic becomes an arena for exploitation, half-truth, and the unthinking mixture ...1
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